NEW YORK — Airports in the New York City region saw an increase of handguns caught at TSA checkpoints last year, but the region still falls way behind other major cities.

Transportation Security Administration officers stopped 26 handguns total in 2021, split between Newark Liberty International, John. F. Kennedy International LaGuardia and New York Stewart International airports. The same airports found a total of 17 guns in 2020.

Newark security stopped the most guns — 12 — and New York Stewart stopped the least, with just one found by TSA. JFK had the greatest year-to-year increase — in 2021, officers found nine guns at the airport, as opposed to just two in 2020.

Nationwide, TSA officers detected 5,972 firearms at airport security checkpoints in 2021. That’s a significant increase from the 3,257 detected last year, and a spike from the 4,432 detected pre-pandemic. The TSA said approximately 86 percent of the guns found were loaded.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport had the most guns detected in 2021, with 507 total. Airports in Dallas (317 guns found), Houston (245), Phoenix (196) and Nashville (163) rounded out the top five.